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Full text of "The Mowat government. Why it should be sustained."

Canadian 

Pamphlet* 

03621 

Pedley, Frank 

The Mowat Government 



\ 



THE MOWAT GOVERNMENT 

WHY IT SHOULD BE SUSTAINED. 



A SPEECH DELIVERED BY 

^jr^tstk: ipEiDiciErsr, 

PRESIDENT OF THE TORONTO YOUNG MEN'S LIBERAL CLUB, 
On November 20th, 1893. 

[Issued by the Young Men's Liberal Club of Toronto.] 

Gentlemen, — In my address delivered to you on the 23rd of October, 
I alluded to the coming Provincial general elections, and I expressed in 
general terms the reason for believing the present Government would be 
sustained. I made no attempt on that occasion to review in detail the 
record of the Mowat administration, but dwelt more particularly on the 
club's affairs and our work for the present session. 

It appears, however, that one or two of my remarks have formed 
the text of the inaugural address of Mr. W. D McPherson, the newly- 
elected president of the Young Men's Liberal Conservative Association 
of this city. 

In his address Mr. McPherson takes issue with my statements that 
prudence, forethought and economy have prevailed in every branch of 
the administration, and at considerable length dwells upon what he con- 
siders to be the shortcomings of the Mowat Government, and by an ex- 
traordinary course of reasoning unknown to any system of logic either 
ancient or modern, and based upon ill digested, mis stated and half -con- 
cealed facts, endeavors to persuade his hearers that the interests of the 
people of Ontario lie in placing in power his "revered leader," Mr. W. 
R. Meredith, supported by that section of the " party of progress" that 
finds shelter in the Local Legislature. 

The charges made against the Government by Mr. McPherson are 
not altogether new, nor are the facts and figures entirely unknown to 
the reading public. A reference to the Empire's report of Mr. Clancy's 
speech on the Provincial Budget of this year will show a wonderful 
similarity in Mr. Clancy's and Mr. McPherson's methods of dealing 
with Ontario politics. 

The same facts are given, the same words used, the same arrange- 
ment observed, the same mistakes made. Occasionally Mr. McPherson 
varies from Mr. Clancy in order to relieve the monotony, but substan- 
tially in all, and exactly in parts, one address is the reproduction of 
the other. 

I propose, with the permission of this meeting, to state more fully 
the reasons which appear to justify the belief that the coming election 
will result in the return of the present Government. In stating these 
reasons I shall not pretend to originality, but shall simply follow in the 
footsteps of abler men who at various times have discussed provincial 
affairs in support of the policy of the Mowat administration. 



2 



Three Good Reasons. 

Let me at the outset set forth in three general propositions why the 
Mowat Government should be sustained. 

1. Because it is a Good Government. 

No jobs disgrace its long tenure of office. Its record is clean. • It 
has discharged honestly the trust reposed in it by the people. 

2. Because it is an Economical Government. 

The expenditure of moneys has been careful ; the resources of the 
Province have been husbanded ; the revenues safely guarded, and the 
burdens of the people have been lightened. 

3. It is a Progressive Government. 

Legislation has kept pace with the progress of the people. Reforms 
have been introduced. Defects have been cured. Evils eradicated. 
Wrongs redressed. No people in the world are more law-abiding than 
those in Ontario, none feel the restraint of law so little. 

If these three propositions are justified by the facts, then we stand 
on solid ground. Any Government that fulfills these conditions is 
worthy of support. 

Let us look at some of the main features of Ontario's Government 
during the last twenty years, and in so doing refer where necessary to 
the criticisms of Mr. McPherson. 

The various interests over which the Government exercises super- 
vision may be classified under «the following heads : — Law, Finance, 
Education, Public Works, Grown Lands and Timber and Agriculture. 

Law. 

This department presided over by the Premier has met with but 
little hostile criticism. Under his able judicial management Ontario 
has advanced along the line of legal reform with rapid strides. From 
year to year the work of law improvement has gone on ; practice has 
been simplified ; litigation cheapened ; equitable doctrines have been 
encouraged, and purely technical legal knowledge has given way to a 
greater degree of common sense in the administration of our laws. 
Ever eager to accept timely suggestions for the removal of legal diffi- 
culties the present head of the Government has given the people of 
Ontario twenty years' careful administration of justice, and has sought 
to reach, and equalize the conditions, of all classes of the community. 

The practical unanimity with which the management of his depart- 
ment has been received emphasizes its satisfactory character. 

Finance. 

The financial administration of the Government has come in for con- 
siderable criticism by the Opposition, though no charge of any conse- 
quence has ever been preferred, and no better method of managing the 
finances has been presented. 

Controlling under the authority of Parliament the receipts and 
expenditures of all provincial moneys the Treasury Department occupies 



3 



an important place in the Government of the Province. The finances of 
the Province are in a sound healthy condition, both absolutely and 
comparatively. 

In leferring to our financial position, Mr. McPherson starts out 
with the assertion that " We find the expenditure constantly increasing 
with the revenue decreasing, the debt piling up, and the Government 
sacrificing the public domain." 

The charge of increasing expenditure is an empty one, unless it can 
be shewn that we are not getting value for our money. 

No one pretends for one moment that the expenditure of the Pro- 
vince in its present condition should remain at the same figure as it was in 
1872. With an increasing population; an extended area of territory; 
a more thorough and efficient administration of Provincial affairs, an 
increase in expenditure is but the natural outcome of the changing and 
increasing needs of the people. The great question to be determined 
is whether the moneys are expended wisely. If it can be shewn that in 
every department no expenditure is incurred that cannot be defended 
on public grounds then the charge of over expenditure fails. Has Mr. 
McPherson shown the increased expenditure to be improper 1 Can he 
by any fair means point out wherein he would make any appreciable 
reduction 1 If he can he is far in advance of his party, both in and out 
of the Legislature. The records show that from 1883 to 1892 out of 
a total expenditure of over $32,200,000 the Opposition objected to 
only $89,775 or $1 in $360. The expenditure for the different years 
of the present regime may have increased, but only in keeping with the 
growth of the Province. Nothing is proven whatever by lumping the 
expenditure from 1873 to 1883, and from 1883 to 1892 ; and, by com- 
paring them on general principles, draw the unwarranted inference that 
because the latter decade shews a greater increase than the former, 
therefore the expenditure is wrong. 

If such a comparison be correct in principle, then the Government of 
Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald must have been a disastrous one. In 
1867 the Sandfield Macdonald Government expended on civil govern- 
ment, $18,219.17, but in 1868 increased the expenditure to the enor- 
mous figure of $90,959.62, nearly five times as much. 

Yet no one seriously charges the Sandfield Macdonald Government 
• with extravagance, because of this fact. The cost of civil government 
ife increasing very slightly in comparison with the growth and develop- 
ment of the Province. So with all other items of expenditure. The 
increase, if any, is in perfect harmony with the increased needs. 

During the last ten years we have added Northwestern Ontario to 
this Province, enlarging our area by 100,000 square miles. We have 
also increased in population about 200,000. Should not these facts 
be taken into consideration when discussing fairly the cost of Govern- 
ments 1 

We must also remember that during < the last 21 years, numerous 
new public institutions have been established and maintained — such as 
the Central Prison, Mimico Asylum, Model Schools, Teachers' Institutes, 
Agricultural College, Experimental Farm, etc., besides the creation of 
a National Park system, the Mining Bureau and many otherbranches all, 
of which have been endorsed by the people of Ontario. It is* but neces- 
sary to point out a few of these facts to shew the absurdity of Mr. 
McPherson's whole contention as'to increased expenditure. 



4 



The Revenue. 

Then as to the revenue, the two great sources of revenue are the 
Dominion grant and the Crown Lands Department. Out of a total 
revenue of $4,662,921.57 for the year 1892 we received from the 
Dominion subsidy and speci6c grant $1,196,872.80, and from the 
Crown Lands Department $2 252,972.27. 

The Dominion grant is unalterable at present. The Crown Lands 
revenue varies, but has the satisfactory feature of being an increasing 
revenue. 

Mr. McPherson says that "at the present time the financial 
equilibrium depends in the affairs of this Province upon the frequent 
and enormous raids into our forest wealth." 

In other words, the timber sales held during the last 21 years have 
been, in Mr. McPherson's eyes, a wrong ; in his opinion, the Gov- 
ernment should n< t have utilized the almost unlimited timber 
wealth of Ontario for the purpose of expending wisely the moneys 
derived therefrom in the interest of the whole people. Does Mr. 
McPherson suppose that any government would allow the vast timber 
stretches of this Province to remain simply because as time rolled on 
they might become more valuable 1 Does he not know that if timber 
were never used it would have no value whatever ? Does he not know 
that timber is needed for human wants as well as other natural pro- 
ducts ? Does he charge the Government with giving away our timber 
wealth, or is he not aware that no more advantageous timber sales 
were ever made than those conducted in this Province during the last 
21 years? Every stick of timber sold by the Ontario Government 
brings its full value. 

The Government have made no " raids upon our forest wealth ; " 
they have taken advantage of the opportunity, as they were bound to 
do, to dispose of timber berths at the best possible figure, and have 
applied the proceeds of these sales for the use of the whole Province. 

The policy of selling our timber has been in vogue since Confedera- 
tion, during which period we have sold 9,900 square miles of timber 
limits, 4,234 of which having been disposed of by the Mowat Govern- 
ment. The people have approved this policy, knowing that under the 
present system, sale by public auction, the highest price will be realized. 
The last sale, which took place in 1892, was one of the most successful, 
633 square miles bringing $2,315,000, or an average of $3,657.18 per 
square mile t 

Compare this showing with the manner in which the Dominion 
Government has disposed of its timber limits, by parcelling them out to 
hungry followers at $5 per mile, and the policy of the Ontario Gov- 
ernment has its amplest vindication. 

Mr. McPherson says our public debt is piling up. This will be 
news to most of us who have been consoling ourselves with the fact 
that Ontario has no public debt. At page 176 of the Statistical Year 
Book for 1893, prepared by the Dominion Government, we have the 
provincial public debts set forth, but Ontario does not appear in the list. 
Quebec has a net debt of $15,564,447 ; Nova Scotia, $1,358,118 ; New 
Brunswick, $1,894,092; Manitoba, $697,815; British Columbia, 
$620,844 ; Prince Edward Island, $185,000. With reference to 
Ontario [is the following; "The Province of Ontario has sold 



5 



annuities to the extent of $1,432,519 to provide for railway expendi- 
ture, but these annuities are paid off by a fixed term every year out of 
consolidated revenue, and, while a liability, do not stand on exactly the 
same footing as ordinary public debt. The Province, however, has 
assets very largely in excess of the above sum." 

So much for our public debt. Mr. McPherson's financial criticism 
is of value largely because of the inaccuracies it contains. We are 
told that the "total railway grant in 1891 was $4,588,168." As the 
House voted only $3,622,427 for all purposes, Mr. McPherson has 
evidently been following Mr. Clancy and consequently makes the same 
egregious mistake in the use of figures. 

The statement of the Provincial Treasurer, delivered on the 11th 
April, 1893, shows the sound financial condition of the Province — from 
1867 to 1892, our total receipts were $74,768,294.75, our total expendi- 
ture $73,923,101.90 — leaving a balance in favor of receipts of 
$845,195.85. 

In addition to this there is still a surplus of assets over liabilities of 
$5,838,758.12. Such is the financial condition of Ontario. 

Education. 

The educational system of Ontario is the proud boast of all our 
citizens. Ample in its provisions for the education of all classes ; 
liberal in the course of instruction provided ; furnishing the most 
complete facilities for advance from the elementary to the higher 
ranks ; knowing no distinction whatever between the different sec- 
tions of the community ; it commands the united support of all our 
people, and is admired throughout the world. Under the control of 
a Minister responsible to Parliament and to the people, the Educa- 
tional Department is annually giving unquestionable evidence of the 
efficiency of its management and of the improvement in the intellectual 
condition of our citizens. Year after year we are spending large sums 
of money in the development of brain, and certkinly no money is 
better invested. The last Annual Report of the Minister of Educa- 
tion shows a steady improvement in educational matters throughout 
the Province. 

Mr. McPherson tells us that " in 1871 we had a Superintendent 
of Education, and the work of public instruction was never better 
performed. Now we have a Minister of Education, a Deputy-Minister 
of Education and clerks of clerks in the endless routine of idleness." 
This is refreshing from the chairman of the Toronto Board of School 
Trustees. 

The change from a Superintendent to a Minister of Education took 
place largely through the advice of the late Dr. Ryerson, who for 
years was the Superintendent of Education in this Province. As far 
back as 1868, Dr. Ryerson suggested the transfer of the Education 
Department to a responsible Minister, and again in 1871 wrote to the 
Government urging the adoption of his views in that direction. In 
1876 the change was effected, and after 15 years of practical experience 
no one conversant with the system as at present conducted would think 
seriously of returning to the old state of affairs. To-day under the 
democratic principle we have an Education Department completely 
under the|control of the people. We have raised the standard of 



6 



education throughout the Province. We have diminished the number 
of inferior schools, and are affording more suitable accommodation for 
our largely-increasing school population. 

The reports from this Department indicate the steady advance we 
are making, and amply justify the Government in the course they 
have pursued. To say that the edu sational system is a huge political 
machine is to ignore the fact that the administration of that part of the 
system in which politics might be introduced is entirely in the hands of 
the school sections, and through them, the trustees. 

The presence of Mr. McPherson as chairman of the Toronto Board 
of School Trustees is in itself a contradiction of his own statement. 

Then as to the " Clerks of clerks in the endless routine of idleness," 
it is but necessary to refer to the last Report of the Minister of Educa- 
tion for the information that the " Clerks of Clerks " are twelve in 
number. 

Public Works. 

In his address Mr. McPherson has little to say with reference to 
the Department of Public Works. That department, under the able 
management of the present Oommissioner since 1874, has been faithfully 
administered. No job has ever been perpetrated upon the people ; no 
" figuring up" and "figuring down" has been permitted to allow 
enormous steals from the treasury through corrupt bargains with 
contractors. 

Immense sums of money have been expended in the construction 
and maintenance of public works throughout the whole Province, and 
no single charge has ever been preferred against the Department. The 
bugaboo of the new Parliament Buildings has almost faded from 
our minds. No longer shall we hear of this plank of the Conservative 
platform. The buildings are complete and stand to-day a fitting tribute 
to the prudence, foresight and economy of the Department and the 
Government. h 

Crown Lands and Timber. 

The task of supervising the Department of Crown Lands, with all 
its complexities and details, is not a light one. Against this Department 
theOpposition have for years concentrated their efforts hoping to discover 
some evidence in support of their baseless charges. 

Mr. McPherson complains that the expenditure in this Department 
is increasing. He has not troubled himseif with pointing out where the 
increase is not reasonable and right, but simply makes the bald state- 
ment that the expenditure has been growing, and consequently must be 
wrong. It may occur to students of (Ontario) politics that the territory 
over which the management of the Crown Lands Department extends has 
been considerably enlarged during the very years that Mr. McPherson 
complains of. It will also be remembered that it was owing to the 
persistent offorts of his revered leader and his followers that the question 
of the disputed territory remained so long unsettled, and that if the policy 
of the Opposition in this Province had been successful the Ontario of 
to-day would have been 100,000 square miles less than it is. The vast 
timber, mineral and other resourses in which the new Ontario abounds, 
might have have passed to other hands in so far as the party repre- 
sented by Mr. McPherson is concerned. 



7 



We are told that the expenditure in 1883 in the Grown Lands 
Department " was $67,131 ; in 1892 it was $131,732, an increase of 96 
per .cent." Why the year 1883 should be taken is unexplained, unless 
it be that the expenditure that year reached a comparatively low figure. 

If Mr. McPherson had been willing to treat the Department fairly 
one would have expected from him something more than the mere 
statement of increase. It was not impossible for him to shew wherein 
that increase lay, and to satisfy any fair-minded person that the ordi- 
nary expenditure in the Crown Lands Department shows but little 
variation from year to year. 

Let us take the two years given — viz., 1883 and 1892 : 

In 1883 we paid $67,131 



We carried into 1884 surveys. . . 11,098 

Add cost of Ottawa and Quebec 4,883 

Giving a total of $83,112 

In 1892 we paid 131,863 

Less one-half fire ranging to be repaid . . 13,951 
Cullers fees 900 



Total 117,012 

Excess over $83,112 of $33,900. 



From this, however, are to be deducted cost of services in 
the new territory — finally acquired since 1883 — and new services 
performed in 1892. Services in the new territory — viz., sur- 
veys, timber and land agents' expenses and salaries and share of timber 
sale — amounted to $15,756, reducing the excess to $18,144. 

New services, including one-half fire ranging, Cullers' Act refund, 
timber sale, new land agencies and fishery overseers, amounted to 
$26,065, thus showing that in 1892 we actually paid less for the same 
services in 1883 by $7,921. In addition to this we carried over and 
paid in 1892 for surveys for 1891 $3,700, so that the ordinary services 
in the Crown Lands Department for 1892 cost $11,621 less than in 
1883. One might go on indefinitely, but this instance will suffice. 

The attention given of late years to the mining industry, the establish- 
ment of Government parks, the opening up of new townships for settle- 
ments and for license, besides the natural increase in the ordinary work 
of the Department, are all matters that would justify an increasing 
expenditure. The great wonder is that the cost of managing the 
Department has not increased far beyond the present figure. 

Mr. McPherson's Two Principles. 

Mr. McPherson says that two principles should be borne in mind in 
the administration of the Crown Lands Department. 

1. " The need of conservation of lands which at present belong to 
the Province." 

As there are yet about 105 millions of acres yet undisposed of out 
of a total acreage of 126 millions, we can rest assured that the work of 
conservation has been going on for many years in Ontario. 

2. " The re-foresting of portions from which timber has been taken, 
in order that there may be a continuous crop of timber from which a 
surplus and an increasing revenue could be received." 

This sounds quite reasonable. 



s 



There is no doubt that were W. R. Meredith and his progressive 
followers at the helm, a whole army of reforesters would be struggling 
over the hills and rocks of our northern country, developing in a truly 
scientific manner the cause of forestry. But of course this would be 
only for a time. As under the new regime no timber would be sold, the 
science of reforesting would gradually come to an end, and with its 
termination the surplus and " increasing revenue n would disappear. 

The demon of direct taxation would confront us with all its terrors, 

The Crown Lands Department has been managed well. It is doing 
much to increase our knowledge of the resources of this great Province. 
No valid objection has been raised against it. 

From all attacks the Government has successfully defended itself, 
and no investigation has revealed any transaction of which it may be 
ashamed. 

Agriculture. 

The Department of Agriculture, as re-organized by the Ontario 
Government in 1888, gave to the farmers of this Province a distinct 
recognition of the importance of their vast influence and merits. 
Occupying, as it does, a first place among the industries of Ontario, it 
was but natural that at the hands of the Government agriculture should 
receive the utmost consideration. The success that has attended the 
establishment of this Department is but the logical outcome of the care 
and industry bestowed. 

Farming is a science. The old ways are giving place to the new 
and improved methods of cultivation, as in every other department of 
life. The need of system and knowledge is felt, so in the tilling of the 
soil and the bringing to their greatest perfection the fruits thereof. 

The high position occupied by the farmers of Ontario, whenever they 
have been placed in competition with those of other countries, is largely 
due to the assistance rightly given by the Government. 

Yet Mr. McPherson says that " we have a Minister of Agriculture 
who has practically nothing to do and accordingly does little, a Depart- 
ment which could easily have been managed by one of the other Minis- 
ters, and should never have been created." 

If Mr. McPherson would only take the trouble to look over the 
reports of the Department of Agriculture, he would find that no idle 
time is spent by the Minister in the care of his Department. He would 
see that attention is being directed to every part of the Province, with 
a view of placing the agricultural interests on a sounder basis. He 
would find that the rapid progress which characterizes the management 
of agriculture in Ontario is not obtained by idleness but by work. 

Reference is made to the Agricultural College at Guelph, and the 
charge of increased expense made. 

As usual the figures given are misleading and at times incorrect. 

From 1883 to 1892 the staff was increased by three and the salaries 
by $5,QP0, not very large for ten years' work. 

The Experimental Farm has been added since 1883 as well as the 
entire Dairy Department, including the travelling dairy, experimental 
work in dairying and special dairy school. 

The total cost of the College in 1883 was $58,056 including salaries, 
less $14,654 revenue, or making in all a net cost to the Province of 
$43,402. Mr. McPherson has added in an item of $12,000 which 



9 



■hould be charged to capital account, being expenditure incurred in 
building, etc. 

In 1892 the net cost was $60,464, after allowing for a revenue of 
$19,035, and placing to capital account the sum of $27,000 expended in 
new buildings. 

The slight increase in expenditure during the last ten years is fully 
accounted for by the immense additions to the work of the College. 
To-day nearly all the students are from Ontario, and the capacity of the 
College is fully taxed to meet the attendance. 

The Liberal party do not agree with the assertion that the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture should never have been established. Recognition 
of the rights of agriculture has been a leading plank of the Liberal 
platform, and the results of their efforts in stimulating the industry are 
of the most gratifying character. 

Provincial Secretary's Department. 

Prominent among the matters pertaining to this Department are the 
Inspection of Division Courts, Insurance, Chartering of Joint Stock 
Companies, Auditing of Criminal Justice Accounts and until lately 
the license system, besides the official correspondence of the Province. 

The license system of the Province and its administration have 
come in for a good deal of unfavorable comment from the Opposition, 
and Mr. McPherson has deemed it his duty to unload the usual stereo- 
typed charges in that regard. 

To talk of it being a huge political machine and used for the pur- 
pose of making every liquor dealer a mere tool, is simply a farce. Time 
and again have the Opposition been challenged to substantiate these 
reckless charges but as often have they failed. 

The increase in receipts from licenses during the last nine years 
is accounted for largely by increased license fees. In 1876 the muni- 
cipalities were empowered to increase the fees for their own benefit by 
the maximum amount of $100 in cities, $120 in towns and SI 40 in 
incorporated villages and townships. Since the Province took control 
of the Liquor Licenses in 1876, the municipalities have received 
$1,224,290 more than has the Province from this source. 

Regarding the decrease of licenses during the years from 1883 to 
1892 (Mr. McPherson evidently means from 1882 to 1890), and the 
increase in costs for the same period, Mr. McPherson will readily see 
that reduction of the number of licenses does not necessarily mean the 
lessening of the cost of administering the license system. 

The increase in 1890 over 1882 was not due to enormous advance 
in salaries. This increase includes miscellaneous expenditure for office 
rent, printing, magistrates, constables, witnesses, detective and counsel 
fees, etc., which, in 1890, amounted to $9,773 more than in 1882. 

The total amount paid for Inspectors' salaries and Commissioners' 
expenses in 1890-91 exceeded that paid in 1882-83 by only $10,140. 
During the interval, six new license districts were erected. Three 
assistant License Inspectors had to be appointed in Toronto, Hamilton 
and Ottawa. The expenses incident to these were $6,450, which sum, 
deducted from $10,140, leaves an increase in nine years of only $5,690 
for 88 license districts, or an average of about $5 a year for each 
district. 

The policy of the Government in the regulation of the liquor traffic has 
met with the approval of the temperance people throughout the Province 
and by the electors has been endorsed in an emphatic manner. The 
transfer of the license system from the municipalities to the Govern- 
ment has given a better license law, a better class of hotels, and has 
reduced to a gratifying extent the evils of intemperance. The number 



10 



of licenses is being reduced, and outside of a total prohibitory law it 
would be difficult to find a system that has met with more unanimous 
approval from the friends of temperance than has the Liquor License 
system of Ontario. So much then for a short summary of the different 
departments of the Government. 

Mr. Noxon's Appointment. 

In general terms Mr. McPherson charges the Government with using 
the public resources for the benefit of political friends, and instances 
the appointment of Mr. Noxon as one case where an unnecessary 
appointment was made. Mr. McPherson should know that in the office 
Mr. Noxon fills as Inspector of the Central Prison he has abundance of 
work to perform. The Central Prison is no longer a mere depository 
for criminals, but in recent years has been enlarged and widened until 
it is one of the great institutions of the Province. Lately the binder- 
twine manufactory has been added and this, together with the other 
branches of industry in vogue there, necessitated the appointment of an 
additional competent man. No man in Ontario has a better reputation 
than Mr. Noxon had for the possession of the essential qualifications for 
such an office — a practical business man, thoroughly acquainted with 
the work of supervision, endowed with natural faculties and having had 
a large experience. The Government was fortunate in securing such a 
man for the position — the saving of the merest trifles in the purchases 
will more than repay the Province for the salary outlay. When mer- 
cantile institutions throughout the land pay their managers the most 
princely salaries, the people of Ontario will not grumble at the cost of 
having such an efficient manager as Mr. Noxon. So through the list. 

The Plebiscite. 

The position of the Government regarding the plebiscite is also 
attacked. It is clear, however, that the Government in making provi- 
sion for a plebiscite on the temperance question* were acting in conson- 
ance with the expressions of opinion fiom representative organizations 
throughout the Province. From temperance societies were presented 
495 petitions ; from churches, 314 ; from municipal corporations, 156 ; 
in all, 965 in favor of a plebiscite — while on the other hand, 255 peti- 
tions were presented from temperance societies, 54 from churches and 5 
from municipal corporations, in all 314 in favor of prohibition. The 
question of the sincerity of the Government in this matter is easily 
answered by the above. 

The closing words of Mr. McPherson's address are truly significant. 
He intimates that no longer will his party fight on the line of bigotry 
and prejudice. Before his mind there no doubt arose the " Facts for 
Irish Electors " in the election of 1883, when all that was worthy of 
Irish consideration was alleged to be found in the Conservative ranks 
alone \ or it may be that the Ross Bible of 1886 appeared in judgment 
before him as a reminder of the failure of his party to make religious 
cries a stepping stone to power ; or, later on, he must have heard the 
distant sound of " unite against the common enemy " as borne over the 
hills and dales in 1890 it led his party to disaster. 'Tis well he dis- 
claims against bigotry and prejudice, for in the politics of this Province 
there is no room for such. And it is because the Government of Sir 
Oliver Mowat has kept clear from the breakers of race ^and creed, 
because that Government has moved on higher grounds in the admin- 
istration of affairs, and because the Opposition has failed to grasp^the 
true principles of government, do we believe that 1894 will see no 
change so far as the Government benches are concerned. (Loud 
applause.)